Thursday, June 8, 2017

Disclaimer, by Sir Steven R. Schwartz Ist., Esq.

Who the fuck cares? We won’t remember this tomorrow.


I’d never considered myself to be a con-artist, heartbreaker, or murderer. Now as I lie in a sudo hospital bed in the cellar of an old house in the swanky part of Brno, I have to reconsider my stance and listen to my doctor who tells me that I am a con artist, heartbreaker, and murderer. Let me explain.
It all started 6 months ago when I moved to the Czech Republic to be an English teacher. Somehow, after paying 1000 bucks in advance and failing all the tests during the TEFL course, I was granted a certificate to teach English. I thought that either I had shown great potential as a teacher, yet needed more grooming beyond the month long course; or my pathetic and helpless approach was pitied upon as that of an almost charismatic dying puppy. Of course the latter was true. Pity can be a great advantage when used properly just like bringing a banana to a gun fight… or a gun to a banana fight.
I had been teaching lessons for a school whose business consisted of hiring out teachers to travel to different companies and give English lessons to employees as a kind of perk. Most of my lessons consisted of, at best, half prepared mumbo jumbo. The students knew that I was nervous and usually had no idea what I was talking about. Most of the time I would cover up my own mistakes that they pointed out as being U.S. English… and often claiming dyslexia when I misspelled common words such as ‘wierd’, ‘concious’, ‘jibberish’ and ‘thier’. Any word longer than two syllables was tested and misconstrued in my head before they came out of my mouth. All this garbage was wrapped up nicely into a pitiful bag of ‘concious jibberish’. Yet again, pity was on my side and saved me. I was rarely given bad feedback and constantly bribed my students with gifts of chocolate and half empty bottles of booze… you can guess where the missing half had gone.
In short, I was a hack and aware of it, but had no other choice but to keep the façade up to get a paycheck at the end of the month, or at least during the months that I didn’t take cash advancements from the school to pay rent and quietly get drunk all night long resulting in many red eyed hangovers during morning lessons at I.T. companies the next day.
Piti, like graviti and potatos, always wins when applied properly and Shplanky was at work before we knew that he existed.
It wasn’t until 6 months into this bullshit that Shplanky came into play.
I was in taking a tram through the city center after disappointed a group of I.T. employees as the sun was just going down. The tram passed by this big black penis in the center of the center of Brno, reflecting the last first pink glimmers of dusk as the sun was humping the earth. Somehow one was supposed to look at the tip of the clock and tell the time. I began thinking about telling the time on the head of my own member, unconsciously flicking the tip through my pants, when someone thrusted this red badge in front of my face. I knew what it was immediately, and they certainly weren’t hawking knick-knacks.
‘dobry den, kontoluju jizdenky prosim,’ the ticket checker said, then staring at my crotch through sunglasses as my index finger was rhythmically flicking. I had a moment of relative horror, obviously not equivocal to watching a nun fall down a flight of hospital steps, but real just the same. I didn’t have a ticket. I had 200 crowns in my pocket, was behind on rent, and couldn’t afford the 1000 crown fine. I was fucked.
I looked up and down the tram. Of the 24 seat tram, only 5 seats were taken. Pathetic instinct kicked in. I found myself pointing to one ear, my mouth gaping. The ticket man grunted and did some crazy finger manipulation. Shit, I thought. He knows sign language.
Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, Shplanky stepped up and commandeered.
My jaw went to the right, my lower lip covered up my top right lip as it was sucked in, my eyes went cocked and my eyebrows arched like micheal keaton’s in the first good batman movie. All this through some semblance of an innocent, and slightly crazy smile.
‘When I go da mcdonald’s I get extro toy inna happymeal?’ I found myself saying. Now the ticket man switched to a surprising well level of English. He definitely wasn’t my student.
‘Sir, I need to see your ticket please.’
‘I tick a tick an’ tick when I lick-a-lick-a licket!’ I screamed, even annoying myself at this point. ‘How many socks d’ya wear when ya don wear shoes?’ I asked, getting nervous. I caught a glimpse of my reflection in his sunglasses. I looked stupid… pathetic… perfect.
Ticket man began to use pull out his cell, hit a button, and put it to his ear. I realized that I was still flicking my little man and the tram was pulling up to the train station.
‘No, hele, mam jedno. Hlavni nadrazi.’ He said into the phone. Fuck, I thought. The law. Then Shplanky surprised me again and my hands started beating my temples and my throat let out a god awful sound… in hindsight, like rainman in the movie, rainman.
The screech was perfectly timed with the doors opening. I stood up, still flicking my finger as my hands battered my skull, and headed for the door. I could see the confusion on ticket man’s face and he spread his arms out as if he were protecting someone. There was no one behind him. I took this chance to slowly get off the tram, still screeching like a banshee with hands to head. The doors closed behind me and the tram went off with ticket man still on.
I lit a cigarette as I watched a crowd of people briefly wonder why I was screaming and had a short moment of reflection and personal disgust. Did I actually act like a mentally disabled man to get out of a fine? I’m I as sick as I think I am? Does it matter? After a short time of pondering this, I took the next tram home… or should I say that Shplanky took the next tram home, since it was his face that I saw in the reflection of the window with the city rushing past outside.

Shplanky became an obvious tool for obvious reasons… drinks at bars was the most prevalent. We would stop at all the bars in the center of the city and Shplanky would do the rest. We would wear a black suit with a black tie, covering a white button up shirt, then scope out the scene through conscious eyes detailing the whole room, and find a proper place to sit where I could utilize him.
Who could deny this odd man a talk and a shot?
Shplanky never had any money and always time and thirst for pity for those who gave it to him. When Shplanky had enough, he found a sucker to pay his bill (usually a well-chosen schmuck in a suit), the bartender to give him free drinks (usually an empathetic college girl), or just simply have a freak-out and walk out screaming jibberish (usually something about donuts, socks, or broken zippers). Shplanky soon found which bars were right for him and which were not so generous. Bars up Veveri tended to be more advantageous, bars in Cerna Pole, not so much. The key was to let Shplanky decide… always bring a banana to a gun fight… and this is exactly how Shplanky met Dr. Novak.

Dr. Novak wasn’t actually a doctor, at least not yet. It was the only title that could be given to him. He was on his last rung of medical school at Masaryk U… or as he called it, Moo Moo, majoring in psychology and psychosurgery. He ran a little secret clinic out of his mother’s house… the same place that I saw a nun fall to her death down 13 steps.
I met… or should I say we met Dr. Novak in a little bar connected to Polevka Divadlo… a local theater. Shplanky was trying the waitress for a kiss… a salty and baggy woman who couldn’t be less than 50 sad years old. She was trying Shplanky for the bill and wouldn’t buy into his bullshit.
‘250 crowns,’ she said, angrily.
‘No no, well… no no, how ‘bout a kiss… little smuck smuck on face? I buy stock in Apple company.’ Shplanky went on, drunk as drunk could be. She wouldn’t have it.
‘250 crowns a vypadni!’ she was crass and rude and ugly. I wondered what Shplanky saw in her and then I remembered the humor of it all.
‘a lot of stock in apple. I use the stock to make apple soup every day.’
She reached for her phone and Shplanky was about to have a freak-out when Dr. Novak intervened.
‘Pani, kolik ma zaplatit?’ he saddled next to us. In hindsight again, Shplanky should have had his freak-out and left, but hindsight is much more than whatcould’vbeens.
‘250 korun,’ she said glaring at me. I maintained my convincing disposition. The Doc gave her 400 and ordered two shots of slivovice for us two. Then he looked at me through a cloud of smoke and uneasiness.
‘Who are you?’ he asked this simply and without judgement.
‘I’m Shplanky and I don’t… donna, don, don shplanky is my name. so there.’ I knew that I was getting in over my head, but was too drunk to care.
‘Well, hello do Shplanky. How would you like to live with me for a while?’ he asked in perfect English.
‘No no no, I… I… ain’t got no moneeeeeeey! Can’t make. Too buff to party!’ all of this said with Shplanky at his strongest, eyes cocked like two disagreeing needles and mouth like an overly novacaned dentist victim.
‘It’s ok Shplanky, come live with me and for free and I’ll take care of you.’ He said as nice as nice could be.
‘Will you buy happy meals with extra toy?’ Shplanky said.
One week later, Shplanky moved into his house with his hot mother in Jundrov, and our downfall began.

Jana, Dr. Novak’s mother, was only 45 years old. She was a widow, wealthy from her dead husband’s surgical clinic, had a large house, spoke perfect English, and fell in love with Shplanky right away.
We were set up in a room next to Jana’s. The place was big and better than our old shitty apartment. We settled down quickly, abiding by Dr. Novak’s rules:
Rule number one- A regular talk every day.
Rule number two- Don’t go into the cellar.
Rule number three- Take and eat whatever we want.
Neither Shplanky nor I disagreed with these rules. Soon Jana was knocking at our door for conversations. Soon after that she was taking Shplanky out to get drunk. She was smitten with Shplanky. Soon after, she was naked in bed with Shplanky.
This happened when Dr. Novak had taken a trip to Italy for research, and the clothes came off.
Have you ever tried to be someone else while fucking? You can imagine our disposition.
Afterwards we went to a bar. Shplanky was at his lowest.
‘Do you ever think about the future, Shplanky?’ she asked with a sexy face.
‘I… I… I don’t know. That future is so far away. I don’t know. Don’t know.’ As Shplanky said this, I came into play and looked her straight into the eye. She was so real and honest that the act dropped… I actually came forward.
‘Can I tell you something and you pr pr promise not to get angry?’ I said with my twisted Shplanky face.
‘Of course,’ she said. She was sweet.
‘Well,’ I began, then my face went back to its original shape, my eyebrows leveled, and both my eyes were looking into hers for the first time.
‘I’m not like this.’
I brought it up as a confession. She was not impressed. Quite the opposite, actually.
‘What the fuck.’
‘Hey, don’t be angry. I actually like you and I don’t want to fuck things up here.’ I usually don’t know how to talk to woman that I like, and this is a good example.
Immediately she paid the bill and said ‘wait until my son hears about this.’
We went back to the house and no matter how hard I tried to convince her of my fondness of her, she felt deceived. Sometimes pity can work against you.

Well, gravity and pity were at work again, and everything came crashing down on Shplanky and I. Brno had been the city of new experiences and new opportunities that have turned into a sad turn of events. I still don’t blame myself… even though what has happened has happened.
Dr. Novak approached me today. He gave me the news. His mother killed herself with a pair of scissors after my confession. He seems oddly objective about it. ‘Shit happens’ he said. Meanwhile I don’t know if I should feel like I’m to blame. He insisted that I am to blame.
Dr. Novak moved me to his clinic downstairs. I was surrounded by actual Shplankys including a nun. She wore her full habit as she went up the stairs to his operating room. As she went up she was rambling on about bible bullshit almost coherently, then came back dead in the eyes and crashing down to her death. Dr. Novak has explained to me, as my hands are bound, that he’s not particularly angry at me.
‘Who are you?’ he asked me while sitting at my bedside downstairs.
‘Clyde Schnucker.’ I answered.
‘No. I’m sorry, I can’t believe that. Your name is Shplanky and I’ll rid you of that personality… hopefully.’ He looked at me honestly, without pain.
‘Where’s jana?’ I asked without knowing.
‘My mom? She killed herself. She left a note. Your name was in it. Not mine.’ He adjusted my straps and measured my skull. ‘Psychosurgery is really a science. You won’t miss that part of your brain. Don’t worry.’ He said in a doctoral manner.
‘Thanks. Can you loosen this strap so I can write something?’ I asked.
‘Sure. There you go… here’s some paper. You’ve got two hours Shplanky.’
‘Thanks Doc. I hope that you cure me.’
‘I’ll only cure Shplanky. You are shit out of luck.’
After he said this, I had 2500 words… almost.

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